Thursday, July 05, 2018

Suggestion for the July 4 RI Bristol Parade

Let's have the parade at NIGHT to avoid hospital visits.

50 treated for heat exhaustion at Bristol July 4 Parade
Kevin G. Andrade Journal Staff Writer Kevprojo
Jul 4, 2018 at 7:41 PM Jul 4, 2018 at 11:34 PM


BRISTOL — About 50 marchers and spectators were treated for heat exhaustion as the temperatures soared above 90 degrees at Bristol's Fourth of July parade, according to authorities.

"We expected it, just not this big," said Tom Lawrence, team leader for the R.I. Disaster Medical Assistance Team. "We saw about 50 today, normally we see about 25 to 30 people. Of the 50 treated Wednesday, 12 were sent to Rhode Island Hospital.

"Many of them were from a drum and bugle corps from Minnesota," he continued, saying that 25 members were sent to the field hospital on Annawamscutt Drive. "The problem is they wear these heavy uniforms and they're spent by the time the parade ends."

Authorities declared it a Level 2 mass casualty incident before any patients were seen as a precautionary measure, according to Lawrence. In doing so, all patients who need transport to a hospital would be automatically registered in the patient transport system, making it easier for authorities to ask for assistance from other agencies as well as facilitate communication with families.

"We declared it before it even started because it's a live system," said Lawrence. "They'll do that at the scene of a big accident or other large scale events."

The R.I. Medical Assistance Team has been running the field hospital out of the Bristol Fire Department's headquarters for 10 years, he said. There is a system at the parade where carts will pick up people who require medical attention, transport them to waiting Bristol ambulances, and then, if necessary, for more attention at the field hospital.

"I don't think the system was overwhelmed, it worked as it's supposed to," said Lawrence. "What would overwhelm it is if all those patients went to the hospital."

"This is a good example of cooperation between fire departments," he said.

— kandrade@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7646

On Twitter: @Kevprojo

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